The Buffalo News Sticks Up for Its Own
by Buck Quigley - posted 3:45 pm, February 10, 2012
On Wednesday, the Buffalo News ran this editorial criticizing a recent referendum approved by the UB chapter of United University Professions (UUP) that calls on UB to stop paying membership dues to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Business Council of New York State. UUP doesn’t think state money should be paid to groups that lobby state officials. Interesting that not once in the 362 word editorial did our daily paper identify the public school by its proper name: The State University of New York at Buffalo. That might be because UB’s PR policy recommends downplaying the school’s state affiliation whenever possible—and for several years at least, the News has only printed SUNY at Buffalo stories that parrot whatever press releases emanate from the school’s News Services department. Here’s an example of the advice this group gives professors, from their tip sheet When Media Call:
“If you are aware of a situation or incident that will reflect poorly on the university if reported in the media, call a member of News Services’ professional staff with information. Do not volunteer this information to the news media.”
Why does the Buffalo News intentionally withhold pertinent information from the public when it comes to exposing the plentiful conflicts of interest among the local glitterati that populate both the UB Council and the UB Foundation(s) boards? One reason may be that the publisher of the paper, Stanford Lipsey, is listed as one of the initial directors of both UB Foundation Services (formed 1988) and UB Foundation Activities (formed 1990). Who else was an initial director of these secretive entities? Jeremy M Jacobs. Who, as head of the UB Council, demonstrated a profound inability to follow state education law when it came to naming a new university president after John “Suitcase” Simpson abruptly left (taking several million dollars from the not-for-profit UB Foundation with him back to California).
This is the company they keep, yet in the editorial they say UB professors live in an “ivory tower.”
Today, the news printed this rebuttal from SUNYAB English professor Jim Holstun.